Monday, May 30, 2011

Corporate support mounts for 'Rush For Peace' Junkanoo parade

Submitted by Lashann Dames

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Official events to kick-off the ‘Rush For Peace’ celebration get underway on Sunday at Our Lucaya Resort with a church service to be conducted by Kingdom Worship Centre, followed by a youth rally at Independence Park. Then attention turns to the much-anticipated Junkanoo parade, scheduled for Friday June 3, at 6pm in downtown Freeport.

Principal sponsor of ‘Rush For Peace’, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) has been joined by various corporate entities on the island, all giving their full support to the cultural event. At a recent press conference, Director of Community Relations at the Port, Geneva Rutherford commended the organizers. “We are pleased that they have chosen to offer such a wide variety of components – church service, youth rally, rush-out, Bahamian concert, etc. The expected arrival of so many from throughout the islands of the Bahamas and hundreds of Grand Bahamians attending these events will hopefully bring a great injection of capital to the city with far reaching effects within the greater Grand Bahama community,” she said.

Additional sponsors include: Grand Bahama Power Company, Hutchison Port Holdings Bahamas, Ministry of Youth Sports & Culture, Burns House, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Freepoint Tug & Towing Services Ltd, Grand Bahama Shipyard and the Ministry of Tourism.

Describing ‘Rush For Peace’ as the “kick-off of a heated summer festival season”, was Betty Bethel, General Manager-Groups & Events, MOT. “We are proud to be a supporter and endorser of an event of this caliber aimed at promoting peace in our community while providing an opportunity for visitors and residents to enjoy another form of cultural explosion. The initiative behind it speaks to tourism being everybody’s business,” Bethel expressed.
As stated by MOT, summer events will continue with a Downtown International Food & Cultural Festival, planned for June 17 and 18, featuring native Bahamian foods, international cuisine, arts and crafts, cultural displays and much more. The annual Summer Junkanoo Festival on Taino Beach follows, the first week in July.

Supporting ‘Rush For Peace’ and the ‘Downtown International Food & Cultural Festival’ is the Grand Bahama Power Company. “Junkanoo is as Bahamian as it gets and what Junkanoo represents for this country is a symbol of prosperity, culture, national pride and now a symbol of peace. So, it was an obvious choice for us to show cultural and community support for these kinds of events,” stated Philcher Grant-Farquharson, Corporate Communications-GBPC.

Lee Wallace, Freepoint Tug & Towing, agreed. “We got onboard with ‘Rush For Peace’ without hesitation,” he stated. “In light of the present economic state on Grand Bahama, it’s time for companies like us and a number of others to step forward. Grand Bahama needs the support of its entire community, individuals and corporate sponsors.”

Summarizing sponsors’ support was Executive Director, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Mercynth Ferguson. According to her, any activity that stimulates the economy is welcomed. “We are most pleased to be a part of this event that promises to be exciting and the start of a new rush for the new economy of Grand Bahama,” she said confidently.

The Order of Entry for the upcoming June 3rd Junkanoo rush-out was also released. Coming out first will be Grand Bahama’s New Years Day champions, Majestic Crusaders. The Valley Boys out of Nassau are next, followed by local Junkanoo group, the Swingers, and the Shell Saxons Super Stars. Other groups expected to participate include, Bush Wackers, Sting and combined Rotary clubs.

Additional events include a meet and greet street party at the International Bazaar, on Thursday June 2 at 6pm and an all-Bahamian concert and awards ceremony on Taino Beach on Saturday June 4 starting at Noon.

A Taste of the Caribbean

By Navardo Saunders

FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA- The popular recreation and exercising grounds, St. Stephen's Parish Park, in Eight Mile Rock will be transformed into an international cultural village where an array of Bahamian, Jamaican, Haitian, Barbadian and Dominican foods, art and other goods will be on display when the Ministry of Tourism hosts the Third Annual International Cultural and Heritage Festival on Saturday.

Organizer Elaine Smith, product development executive at the Ministry of Tourism, is inviting the entire Grand Bahama community and all visitors to participate in the festival, which she promises will be bigger and better than ever.

"Junkanoo, marching bands and live entertainment will all be on display," Smith told The Freeport News. "Also we invite everyone to take part in a wide selection of international foods prepared by vendors from Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Barbados and of course The Bahamas, in particular, Cat Island, Long Island, Andros and Exuma."

The festival starts at 3:00 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 11:00 p.m.

It will include activities for the whole family, Smith said.

Last year, residents from as far as East End, Grand Bahama participated.

A number of visitors also took part and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, according to tourism officials, who are appealing to hotel employees and residents in general to tell visitors about the festival.

Tourism officials are appealing to anyone who knows of a group of visitors who are interested in attending to alert the Community Tourism Unit at the Ministry of Tourism at 350-8600 which will arrange transportation to and from the event.

Bahamians can expect all their favorites to be on sale at the festival such as conch salad, grilled conch and lobster, peanut cake, benny cake, fried fish, baked macaroni, fried chicken and more.

The Haitians will be serving up griot, which is also popular among Bahamians.

Pork, fish and chicken griot and more will be on sale.

The Jamaicans will show off their spicy jerk pork and chicken and maybe even curry mutton among other foods.

The Brass and Legend Marching Brands will perform as well as the Classic Dancers Junkanoo Group.

The online social network facebook is already abuzz about the festival, with scores of people saying they intend to participate.

Ministry of Tourism officials say the security will be fully enforced, as a number of police officers will be on patrol.

Smith said they Ministry of Tourism is hoping that Stephen's Park is crammed like sardines are in their containers.

"We want everyone from small children to senior citizens and everyone in between to come out and enjoy themselves," she said. "It's going to be a very memorable, exciting day that nobody should want to miss."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Grand Bahama resident, Lauren Carey graduates from Juilliard

Lauren Carey on stage. At The Juilliard School she has danced works by Bronislava Nijinska, Stijin Celis, Larry Keigwin, Ohad Naharin, and Jose Limon.

By The Bahamas Weekly News Team

New York, NY - Lauren Carey is one of only 19 students who graduated last week after 4 years of study from the world famous Juilliard School in New York City. Lauren is a resident of Freeport Bahamas where she will be returning this summer to live with her father Mike Carey, owner of the Bahamian company Carey Marine International.

Lauren began dancing at age 3 with The Academy of Ballet Florida in West Palm Beach Florida with additional training from Demetrius Klein.

Lauren studied and completed 4 years at the Juilliard School in New York City, graduating in a class of 19 students

While continuing her studies at Ballet Florida and performing with the company under the direction of Marie Hale, Lauren was accepted to the Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts.

While attending Dreyfoos majoring in dance, Lauren became a member of the

National Honor Society, Dance Honor Society and was president of her senior class.

During those years Lauren studied privately with internationally known dancer and choreographer Dennis Wayne, and additionally spent summers with Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theater and The School of American Ballet. During her first year at Juilliard Lauren organized a free summer outreach program for the children of Freeport. The program exposed the children to dance and performance techniques and encouraged them to express themselves freely through movement. The program was a great chance for them to see the world of dance and all the amazing things it has to offer.

At The Juilliard School she has danced works by Bronislava Nijinska, Stijin Celis, Larry Keigwin, Ohad Naharin, and Jose Limon.

Lauren Carey on her graduation day in New York

Lauren would like to thank her Dad, Mom, and sister Lyndsey who is a dance major at DSOA Highschool of the Arts, for all of their love and support. "I wouldn't be who I am today without you and I love you very much." Thanks also to Ms. Lois Seiler for her friendship and support for my dance education and all the dancing children of the Bahamas!

Lauren Carey and Peter Martins the Artistic Director of New York City Ballet taken after graduation

llegal catch seized

FN Senior Reporter

Four American men are expected to appear in court today charged with a number of offenses in breach of the Fisheries Act and the Bahamas Customs Act, after their fishing vessel was discovered in local waters without permits with approximately 7,000 pounds of fish on-board.

Petty Officer Jonathan Evans of the Royal Bahama Defence Force explained that at approximately 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday, officers were on routine patrol in waters about 35 miles off West End, when they spotted the boat, named Janice Ann.

The men on-board said the boat had broken down; however, the men were unable to produce any documentation showing that they were legally in Bahamian waters.

"We decided to take a closer look and upon doing that we realized that it was a long line fishing vessel, which is illegal in The Bahamas," Evans said.

When officers boarded the vessel and conducted a search, they discovered a large amount of assorted fish, including swordfish, wahoo, kingfish, dolphin and tuna.

Officers then reported their discovery to officials on land and were given instructions to detain the vessel until it could be pulled into the harbor at the Bradford Marine shipyard.

Evans said the team of seven officers left the Little Bahamas Bank at approximately 3:15 yesterday morning, and it took about 12 hours for the vessel to arrive at the Freeport harbor.

"Through a long day of work, efforts by my crew being very alert at all times, having to maintain law and order on- board to make sure that everything was safe and secure. They worked very well throughout the night,"Evans said.

"All of it is just in a day's work that we as the Royal Bahamas Defence Force has to offer to our country, to protect our fisheries resources and the other things that we are out here to do to protect our nation against illegal activities which are taking place."

Once docking at about 3:00 p.m., further investigations were conducted by the Department of Fisheries officials.

Assistant fisheries superintendent with the Department of Marine Resources Clement Campbell said, although the fish had not yet been officially weighed, he estimates that the amount found would be between 6,000 and 7,500 pounds.

"The equipment on the boat is totally different from what we use in The Bahamas, from what I see on the normal Bahamian fishing boats."

"There's about 20 or 30 miles of long line on that boat, so whatever catches that line is gone. That's a serious thing – we're highly opposed to that," said Campbell.

Also discovered on-board the boat was a shotgun, a handgun with some live rounds of ammunition and several knives.

Campbell said he receives complaints from local fishermen on a regular basis about foreign fishermen in Bahamian waters.

"I get complaints from all the fishermen every weekend, especially on holidays and good weather days, that the foreign boats are out there fishing ... We've got 100,000 square miles of water, so it's hard for us to cover all that area. So what we want the public to do is always be alert and tell us what's happening out there," he said.

"A lot of the fishermen who fish off of West Grand Bahama, where this boat was, always say that some of the boats that they run into have confrontations with them. They will be fishing with no permit, no entry fee, no customs, no nothing, which is wrong."

Campbell said the four men, ranging in age from 35-60 are expected to be charged in court today.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Rico Thompson hands stands on the moving vehicle with police leading the way [Photos Courtesy of Nicole LeBlanc]

On Saturday Rico Thompson break danced and back flipped on a flatbed truck, as it drove from Queen’s Highway to Port Lucaya, to raise money to partake in the global education program, Up With People

Astonished onlookers, tourists and locals alike, heard the music and saw the young Bahamian entertainer and hip hop teacher, as he did head spins and hand stands on the moving vehicle. Stunts which are difficult enough on the ground became even more terrifying as he entertained people in his own inimitable style.

The Truck Dance Team (Top, L – R) Rory Dack, Deltin Sejour, Maliyah Williams, Tallulah Dack, Rico Thompson the Truck Dancer, Giovanni Carey, Luckner Timothee Bottom, L – R) Lian LeBlanc, Sama Raymond of Meacal Electronics, Peter Williams of Freeport Ship Services, Police Officers Hall, Johnson and Stubbs, Alex Romanenko, Mike Dack, Rouen Robinson and Jackie Dack

Rico was recently awarded the highest level of scholarship granted by the Up With People programme, however, in order to complete his year, he needed to raise a further $8,250. Since learning of his acceptance, he has relentlessly contacted everyone he can think of in the local community to ask for sponsorship and achieved much success. “I wanted to do something more, using my skills to put a smile on people’s faces whilst asking them to sponsor me and that’s why I decided to do something energetic, unusual and fun. There was a lot of ways to fall off the truck.” said Thompson.

“I love making people happy and seeing the people’s reactions was amazing. At first they didn’t know what was happening, but as cars passed by and saw me dancing they smiled and threw money into the collection buckets. Shoppers made donations and started dancing with me which was great. The atmosphere was crazy fun and I gratefully received just over $800. I now have the last $2,050 to find and anyone who would like to sponsor me can call 374-2879 to find out how.”

Astonished and happy onlookers sponsor Rico in the Downtown area

Thompson remains extremely grateful throughout his fundraising quest. He says, “People’s generosity and belief in me has been wonderful. I have so many people to thank for helping me with the Truck Dance, namely; Tropical Shipping, Freeport Ship Services, Meacal Electronics and Freeport Advertising, Peter Williams, the Royal Bahamas Police Force who helped keep the event safe and ensured the public were not inconvenienced and last but not least, my incredible friends who helped collect the money and worked alongside me to make the event special. I see so many people who are fund raising and it makes me even more grateful to those who have chosen to support me. I sincerely thank the Paine Family, Freeport Players’ Guild, The Finglands, Sanitation Services, Freeport Oil Company, Ocean Motion, Lucaya Youth Theatre Society, The LeBlanc Family, Tiffany Dennison and those who have given anonymously.

“I am really lucky to have so many people in my life who genuinely want to see me succeed and I owe it to them to make the most of my year with Up With People. I want to gain as much as possible from it so that I can return to the Bahamas with more experience and skills, to be able to lead a productive and creative life here, helping my fellow Bahamians wherever and whenever I can. Whilst I want to travel the world, performing and being the best ambassador for the Bahamas that I can be, I also anticipate my return where I will be a year older and hopefully wiser and better able to serve the community and my people. I have an open agenda to collect as many good ideas so that I can come back here with something substantial to offer back to the country.”

Those who wish to support this young man in his quest to travel, impact and perform whilst promoting and educating other nations about our country can call 374-2879 or email

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Freeport, The Bahamas - By Cleopatra Murphy

Freeport News Reporter

Residents and tourists alike will have another entertainment option available to them when the Downtown International Food and Cultural Festival begins on June 17.

The two-day festival that carries over until June 18 is a joint effort by several corporate partners to revitalize the downtown area and provide more variety in the activities available on Grand Bahama.

"We realize that cities all over the world have begun festivals and downtowns have become the nucleus for such events that feature arts, cuisine and culture so this is the type of activity we wanted to bring to the downtown Freeport area," Nikira Wilchcombe, chairperson for the Downtown International Food and Cultural Festival said.

She shared that the Downtown International Food and Cultural Festival will boast a variety of cuisines, entertainment and cultures to see, noting that craft vendors from The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) will also participate.

Wilchcombe said that the purpose of the festival is to highlight community members who come from different backgrounds and cultures.

"We know that Grand Bahama has been pegged as the island with nothing much to do and so it is our desire to assist in rebranding us as the island where there is lots to do," she said. "We hope that with the promotion of this event and other events that are being held in June that the city of Freeport and the island at large can become alive."

Although this is the first year for the festival, she noted that there are plans to make it an annual event.

"Festivals are being held everywhere so we want to really start to have that type of atmosphere on the island and in this area in particular," Wilchcombe said.

She supplied that the festival will be launched with an opening ceremony, a motorcade and a parade of flags.

The event, she said would be full of entertainment and fun for the family.

Betty Bethel, general manager of business development for the Ministry of Tourism added that the ministry is involved with this latest initiative because of its continued effort to improve the visitor experience.

"We are constantly searching new tours and activities so that our guests can always walk away with a wow experience from Grand Bahama island, so we are really pleased to be a part of this effort and we applaud the Grand Bahama Port Authority and it's corporate partners in bringing to downtown a new experience for our visitors," she said.

Bethel added that the turnaround to the downtown area and the addition of the festival would add to the tourist experience.

"Having this cultural festival will broaden the cultural element of Grand Bahama island in not just what we do out on the beach and in the Port Lucaya Marketplace area," she said.

Bethel said Grand Bahama is promoted as a holistic experience and the new event will add to that.

"With the cultural festival and the downtown turnaround, we now can indeed say that there are numerous things to do on Grand Bahama island," she said.

"The ministry is proud to be a partner with the port and we are proud to have one more venue to place on the calendar of events in the downtown cultural festival."

Ian Thompson, manager of retail sales at the Bank of The Bahamas noted that the bank was pleased to be a part of a venture that would help the island's economy.

"It's a way for the Bank of The Bahamas to reconnect with Freeport and I am happy that we are the first in this initiative that you are bringing to Freeport as a way to stimulate economic growth and we are just happy to be a part of the transition of Freeport," he said.

The Grand Bahama Power Company and the Downtown Business Association are also principal partners helping to get the festival launched.

Vendors interested in securing booths for the festival can reach the organizing committee at 350-9007.
Fun for the entire family.

Admission is free!

June 17, 2011 – 3pm – 10pm

June 18, 2011 – 1pm – 10pm

Contact: 242-350-9164 for more details.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cayman under-12 team headed to Grand Bahama

The Cayman Rugby Union has confirmed, this week, that it will be bringing a group of 40 junior kids (under-12) to play a weekend of rugby in Grand Bahama. With parents and coaches, the group will total over 70 persons and they will be on Grand Bahama from Saturday June 11 to Monday June 13.
Cayman Coach Kes Wright is very happy to be bringing his team to Grand Bahama.

“The kids and coaches are all very excited to be visiting Grand Bahama and we look forward to some fun rugby and to see the sights and sounds of Grand Bahama,” he said.
Cayman is known for having a successful rugby youth program and it will be a real test for Freeport, Grand Bahama to give the team some exciting matches. Peter Beirne, Freeport’s Youth Development Officer, said: “It will be a true learning experience for our kids but I'm sure they are up for the challenge. The whole idea is to provide the young kids with the experience of playing a team sport against other kids and learning how to play rugby in a game situation. We have been having over 35 under-12's coming to the club on Saturday mornings so we'll have enough kids.”
Bahamas Hot Mix will be sponsoring the Freeport Youth Team Kit and Ebbe Saidi from Hot Mix was very happy to help.
“It’s always important to assist the youth in our community and with such a special weekend with Cayman bringing such a large group, we were more than delighted to assist the team,” said Saidi.
The schedule will include a mini round-robin tournament on Saturday June 11, and then an under-12 Rugby International on Sunday June 12. The full itinerary is expected to be released soon. Children who are interested in playing are asked to come out on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m., to the Freeport Rugby Football Club.
For Photos click link below
Freeport Rugby Photos

Double donations for the GB Children's Home

Pictured with the Fasciation crew and Ms. Rolle of Inchcape are GBCH Executive Committee members and Administrative Staff

Carnival Fascination donates toys and clothes to the GB Children's Home:

Calling into Freeport on Friday, May 20, 2011, Carnival Fascination not only brought hundreds of cruise passengers to the island but also brought boxes of toys and clothes for the Grand Bahama Children's Home. "We visit here every two weeks and we thought it would be great to donate these goods to the Home in Freeport," said Zanet Zic of Carnival Fascination Cruise line.

Vernita Rolle, of Inchcape, handles cruise logistics for Carnival Fascination and helped coordinate the donation for the Home. Zic noted that Carnival Fascination hopes to do more for the Children’s Home and, after the presentation, cruise representatives toured the facilities and met with the 35 children currently residing at the Home.

 The group who happily received the very generous donation of toys and clothes for the children outside the Home administration building. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support and donations we receive not only from our community but from those visiting – including the wonderful folks of Carnival Fascination,” said Jean Hivert, GBCH Executive Committee. “It means so much that in the midst of their busy operations and limited time on the island, the crew of Carnival Fascination took the time to think of our children and helps us at a time when the Home’s numbers have increased and all assistance is needed and more appreciated than ever!” (Photo courtesy of Barefoot Marketing)

Pictured are Yannick Rodgers, Shanell Forbes, Vice President of the Torchbearers, Apostle Jamal Rolle, Sergeant of Arms for the Torchbearers, Jean Hivert, GBCH Executive Committee and Brennamae Rolle-Cooper, GBCH Administrator

FNM GB Torchbearers donate two computers to the GB Children's Home:

Thanks to the FNM GB Torchbearers, the children of the Grand Bahama Children's Home will now have two more computers to assist them with homework and creative playtime. "We are pleased to donate to the Home and are hopeful these two additional DELL PCs will allow more children access to educational software, creative programmes and the world wide web," said Yannick Rodgers, President of the Torchbearers.

. "We are thrilled with the additional computers we received today," said Mrs. Cooper. "This donation will make sharing time on the computers easier for our children and I know they will be thrilled. We thank the Torchbearers for considering our Home when helping the community."

To find out more about the GB Children's Home or its needs, interested persons can log on to their website or visit the Home’s Facebook page. (Photo courtesy of Barefoot Marketing)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Grand Bahama to host international conference on 'Connecting with Nature through Birds'

Submitted by the BNT Communications Department

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Between July 21-25, the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), the largest organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean, will hold its 18th regional meeting in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The meeting, which will be held at the Pelican Bay Hotel and hosted locally by the Bahamas National Trust, will bring natural resource managers, educators and scientists from all the Caribbean islands and other regions together to share knowledge and experiences and develop partnerships and projects. Over 150 delegates from 30 countries are expected to attend; all share a common interest in Caribbean birds or migratory birds who winter in the Caribbean and their conservation. For further information on the conference program, keynote speakers and registration click HERE.

The theme of the conference is “Connecting with Nature through Birds.” Dr. Lisa Sorenson President of the SCSCB described the conference “as an exciting opportunity to expand our efforts in facilitating first-hand experiences between a diverse cross-section of the public and the region’s unique and increasingly threatened wild bird species.” Dr. Sorenson notes that more than 560 species of birds call the Caribbean region home—an astounding 72% of the approximately 208 resident island birds are endemic to the Caribbean islands—that is, found nowhere else on the globe. The islands also provide a critical refuge for hundreds of migratory bird species that spend the winter in our forests and wetlands, or use them as a “refueling” stop en route to their final destinations in Latin America.

“To be successful in conserving these beautiful birds and the habitats they need to survive, we need to do a better job educating the public about their value, both economic and intrinsic,” Sorenson noted. “Not enough people know about or appreciate them, and as a result, many species are threatened with extinction—victims of habitat loss, predation by introduced species like raccoons, rats, feral cats and dogs or unregulated hunting,” said Sorenson.

Lisa Sorenson is also Coordinator of the West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Conservation Project of the SCSCB, a public education and awareness programme on the importance and value of the regions wetlands and birds. Sorenson, an ecologist and conservation biologist, has been working in the Caribbean for 25 years.

This year’s conference in Freeport will feature presentations and workshops by internationally renowned experts in bird education and sustainable bird and nature tourism. These experts will share diverse strategies for engaging a larger and more diverse constituency more effectively by inspiring interest in nature and encouraging people to recognize and utilize the economic values of birds and habitats. One of the keynote speakers is John Robinson, an ornithologist, environmental consultant and advocate for minorities in birdwatching and nature. He will share his work over the last 12 years on how to connect our youth and young adults to nature through the magic of bird watching. John Robinson is President of On My Mountain, Inc. "Your World of Birding and Nature" and author of "Birding for Everyone, Encouraging People of Color to Become Birdwatchers." For more information, visit:

“We are especially excited to be having this meeting in the Bahamas,” commented Sorenson, “they have set the gold standard in the Caribbean for a successful working relationship between government, businesses, and NGOs to protect important sites through their outstanding national park system and their efforts to develop sustainable ecotourism opportunities, both of which are key to preserving the Bahamas’ unique birds and natural beauty.” Everyone at the conference will have the opportunity to see Grand Bahamas’ spectacular birds, local ecosystems, national parks and gardens when the entire conference takes a one-day break during the intensive 5-day meeting to go on field trips to these sites.

Eric Carey, Executive Director of the Bahamas National Trust said he is thrilled that the Bahamas are hosting this year’s meeting, and he expects that, “the conference would provide a powerful interchange about habitat conservation, environmental education, and sustainable bird and nature tourism.” Carey noted that the Bahamas conference has confirmed sessions, among others, that will focus on:

Building greater cultural value in birds, birding, nature and conservation: including citizen science, outreach, education and awareness initiatives. A new program to engage youth “Digital Photography Bridge to Nature,” is one of several featured workshops.

Birding and nature tourism: including successful case studies and best practices for entrepreneurs seeking to break into the industry. There will be a special workshop on ecotourism given by The International Ecotourism Society and a workshop to develop the “Caribbean Birding Trail,” an unprecedented effort lead by the Society to connect many countries, islands and languages in a seamless interpretive trail.

Working with politicians, academics and other decision-makers to conserve birds and habitats. Leaders in this field in the Bahamas and internationally, including Mr. Carey, Dr. Earl Deveaux, Minister of the Environment, and lawyer-conservationist, Mr. Pericles Maillis, will be among those giving presentations and participating in a panel discussion on this important topic.

Priority regional conservation challenges: including climate change, species extinction, and habitat restoration. The society’s many Working Groups will meet to network and share information to advance conservation efforts throughout the region.

Major sponsors of the conference are the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Without Borders Program, U.S. Forest Service, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, (RSPB), Bahamas National Trust, Pelican Bay Hotel, the Bahamas Government, Grand Bahama Nature Tours, and Garden of the Groves.

Friday, May 20, 2011

How to Plan Your Bahamas Destination Wedding

Reposted from Fab Grand Bahama Event planner Marva Munroe's blog

"In this post, I will give you tips on planning your Bahamas Destination Wedding.

Staging a Destination Wedding

To ensure smooth staging of your Bahamas Destination Wedding, it is recommended that the services of a wedding planner be engaged. Average lead time for reserving your Destination Wedding is six months to a year. Spaces for your private event are air-conditioned indoors and outdoors and accommodate anywhere from 15 to 150 guests.

Decorative Enhancements

Most brides choose decorative enhancements to add ambience to their event and complement the natural beauty of the area … enhancements are available at a fee.

For beach wedding ceremonies, chuppahs, arches, floral pedestals are available at an additional cost. Chair ties, floral chair ends, shell aisles are offered too.

Time of Day for a Wedding

Most weddings take place in the early afternoon or evening depending on time of the year. Marriages must be performed before sunset in order to be legal. In summer or spring, this means a wedding will begin 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with four-hour reception dinner following; in winter typcal start tme is 4:00 pp.m. or 4:30 p.m.

The Cost of your Destination Wedding

Destination Weddings range in price, based on decor, food and beverage selections, photography, music. Consult your planner on this.

If bringing family and friends, group room rates are offered at most hotels. A down payment is required in order for a wedding date and block of rooms to be reserved. Payment schedule varies by establishment.

Destination Wedding Details

A minister of religion or justice of the peace performs a destination wedding. If you want a ceremony that honours a particular religion, this can be provided. And, should you wish to have a personal pastor, relative or friend perform your wedding ceremony, this may also be done. A Bahamian marriage officer, though, must be present to declare the marriage and have legal documents signed.

For full article CLICK HERE

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Italian Jet Charter from Milan to Grand Bahama Extended 14 Weeks

By Betty Bethel, General Manager, Business Development

Freeport, Grand Bahama - On May 31, 2011, 34 Italian-based Travel Agents will arrive in Freeport aboard the Blue Panorama Airlines Boeing 767 Jet from Milan, Italy as part of the Alpitours charter program. The program, now in its second year, has been extended by an additional eight weeks to a total of 14 weeks this year. It is expected to deliver approximately 1500 vacationers, arriving 10:30 p.m. on Tuesdays over fifteen flight rotations through September 6th, 2011.

Deputy Director-General of Tourism Ellison “Tommy” Thompson noted that The Islands of The Bahamas continue to maintain a strong presence in the European marketplace. He added, “The beaches, pristine environment and the value of the all-inclusive Grand Bahama Island experiences compete favourably against other Caribbean destinations and the nearby Italian vacation favourites such as Kenya, Cape Verde and Senegal.”

The European arrivals booked at the Viva Wyndham, will be assigned to the 72 refurbished spacious guest rooms located on the beach front. The upgrades include vibrant tropical colours, redesigned bathrooms, new furniture, 32” LCD television and wireless internet services.

The Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board, the Radisson Our Lucaya Resort, Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach Resort and industry partners have prepared a four-day itinerary of special activities, tours and site inspections as part of the destination familiarization program. The travel agents will also visit Nassau to experience the product prior to departure on June 7, 2011.

The European passengers will be processed at GBIA upon arrival and through the Domestic Terminal on departure. The flight will stop in Cancun, Mexico on the return to Milan.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grand Bahama Power Co. signs agreement to construct 52MW diesel plant

New 80 million generation plant for Grand Bahama customers on line for 2012 - An architectural rendering of the new plant to be constructed on 6 acres of land adjacent to the current Steam Plant.

 Philcher Grant-Farquharson
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) announced today the signing of the contractual agreement with Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) and MAN Diesel & Turbo (MAN) to construct GBPC’s new 52 MW HFO diesel plant. This announcement follows news a few weeks ago that the GBPC and the Grand Bahama Port Authority had agreed to a new rate structure allowing the new plant to move forward without any increases in customer rates.

“The signing of this contract is another step in Emera’s plan to ensure improved reliability and stabilize rates for customers,” said Ray Robinson, Executive Chairman, GBPC. “The 35 MW of supplemental generation brought on island earlier this spring is providing short term relief to customers and the new plant will provide the longer term solution.”

The BWSC/MAN consortium have been contracted to build the island’s new diesel plant. The 52MW base-load plant will use six (6) new, state-of-the-art, high efficiency, and heavy duty, MAN diesel generator sets, to ensure increased reliability and stabilized fuel costs for the customers on Grand Bahama. In addition to the base load, 16MW of peeking units are currently being sourced.

Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) is a Danish power plant engineering company with a history dating back to 1843 when Burmeister & Wain was one of the World’s largest ship building companies. In the early 1900’s B&W became a leading diesel engine manufacturer under a license from MAN, eventually becoming part of the MAN Group in 1980. BWSC was the turnkey contracting arm of the company and although now independently owned by Mitsui Shipbuilding & Engineering of Japan, has grown to be a global provider of tailor-made turnkey power plant solutions and a leading employer in Denmark.

MAN Diesel & Turbo SE of Augsburg, Germany, is the Worlds market leader for design and supply of large diesel engines for use in ships and power stations. Part of the MAN Group with roots as far back as 1758, MAN developed the first diesel with Rudolph Diesel in 1893.
During construction, supplemental generation will remain in place, until the new diesel plant comes on line. The new plant will be constructed on 6 acres of land adjacent to the current Steam Plant at an overall cost of 80 million dollars. Construction of the new plant will commence later this month and is projected to be completed in 2012, and is expected to generate 70 construction related jobs for local Bahamians.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information: This release contains forward-looking information and should not be read as a guarantee of future events, performance or results, and will not necessarily be an accurate indication of whether, or the times at which, such events, performance or results will be achieved. Emera disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.

About Emera: Emera Inc. (EMA-TSX) is a growing energy and services company with $6.3 billion in assets and revenues of $1.6 billion. The company invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution as well as gas transmission and utility energy services. Emera’s strategy is focused on the transformation of the electricity industry to cleaner generation and the delivery of that clean energy to market. Emera operates throughout northeastern North America, in three Caribbean countries and in California. More than 80% of the company’s earnings come from regulated investments.. Emera shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol EMA. Additional information can be accessed at or

About GBPC: Grand Bahama Power Company Ltd. is a totally integrated utility company serving the island's 50,000 residents and commercial establishments from east to west. The company employs over 180 Bahamians and has one of the lowest electricity rates in the Caribbean. For more information about Grand Bahama Power Company please visit:

Government looking to amend legislation for use of solar energy

FREEPORT - Minister of State for the Environment Phenton Neymour said Government is looking at amending existing legislation to allow persons to use solar energy in their homes.

Mr Neymour, who was in Grand Bahama for the launch of the national energy efficiency programme, said Government is encouraging Bahamians throughout the country to conserve energy in their homes.

On Saturday, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) were distributed to hundreds of residents here on Grand Bahama.

CFLs are energy-efficient and use 75 per cent less energy compared to the incandescent light bulbs. CFL bulbs last for three to five years and result in a savings of $20 per bulb annually.

According to Mr Neymour, approximately 50,000 CFLs have been distributed throughout New Providence and 100,000 in the Family Islands.

Additionally, he noted it is Government's objective to address the current legislation which hinders individuals using solar energy in their homes and interconnecting with the power grid.

The state minister said Government is expected to begin a pilot project using solar power systems next month in an effort to address any potential challenges in interconnecting between the power company and the customer.

"We have 33 solar (power) systems which we will offer to Bahamians; we will raffle it and once individuals are able to pay for installation then we will monitor their system and interconnection with a view of looking at all problems they have with the power company because the design of the system is important for safety reasons," he said.

"We want to ensure it is done safely with a view that later on we can open our current legislation to allow individuals to produce their own energy from solar power and at the same time use energy that is generated from the power company."

State Minister Neymour said there is already a provision in the Electricity Act that allows individuals in the Family Islands to produce up to 25 kilowatts in their own home without requiring provision from a power company.

In New Providence, he noted that individuals can produce up to 250 kilowatts in their home.

Mr Neymour said the solar power systems they are proposing are ones where individuals can get feedback from the power company.

"The sun does not shine 24 hours and so it is cheaper to have a solar (energy) system where you do not have a battery to store that energy during the day to be used at night," he said.

Mr Neymour said the battery is very expensive and lasts for only seven years, and would be more expensive in the long run.

"So it is significantly cheaper if we can eliminate the battery aspect of it where they can produce their own energy in the day and then receive energy from the power company at nights, that makes the use of solar more practical and cheaper. And so that is the direction we are headed."

Mr Neymour said the government is also encouraging Bahamians to look at constructing their homes to be more energy efficient.

He said they will soon be launching solar water heaters which the Government has also purchased under the national energy efficiency programme. "We have a select number of them and we will be offering them to Bahamians in the near future," he said.
Mr Neymour said government continues to conduct research and studies regarding the potential for renewable energy in the Family Islands.

He noted that the island of Andros has the greatest potential for renewable energy.

"We recognised that Andros has a potential bio mass using pine to generate energy and the potential for using algae to produce bio-diesel. We went to Abaco which also has great potential for bio mass," he said.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

FLIFF On-Location: Grand Bahama Island

By Angelika P. P. Cartwrigh, MOT

Freeport, Bahamas - As a part of their ongoing efforts in film development, the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, in conjunction with the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF), and the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board, will debut “FLIFF On-Location: Grand Bahama Island” later this year.

FLIFF, now in its 26th year, will take place October 21 – November 11, 2011. However, for the first time, the festival will feature an offshore component, “FLIFF On-Location,” on Grand Bahama Island, October 27 – 30, 2011.

This inaugural staging of “FLIFF On-Location: Grand Bahama Island,” will be hosted at the brand new, state of the art Canal House at Pelican Bay Hotel.

The Festival will feature an array of programs and events, including:

Movies made in The Bahamas
Underwater Cinematography Workshop by award-winning cinematographer Paul Mockler
Independent Films & Films from around the world
Complimentary outdoor screenings
International Student Film Competition and
The Inaugural “Grand Bahama Youth Film Competition” Winner’s Screening - a competition is for young filmmakers (14 to 18 years old)

Visitors and residents alike will be encouraged to come out and enjoy the films and events on offer during the four-day festival. More information about screenings, special events, parties and seminars will be announced as the festival dates approach.

BORCO's $318m debt wiped out


Tribune Business Editor

The Bahamas Oil Refining Company's (BORCO) new owner has repaid the company's entire existing debt of $318.2 million upon assuming control, and plans to invest between $220-$280 million in capital expenditure into the Grand Bahama-based oil storage and transhipment facility during 2011.

The figures, detailed in Buckeye Partners' form 10-Q filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of complying with its 2011 first quarter results disclosure, said BORCO would account for the majority of the $320-$410 million in capital spending it planned to undertake this year.

Buckeye Partners said: "Approximately $220 million to $280 million of these amounts are related to capital expenditures in 2011 for the BORCO facility, of which $200 million to $250 million is expected to relate to expansion projects, and $20 million to $30 million is expected to relate to sustaining capital expenditures.

"Major expansion and cost reduction expenditures in 2011 will include upgrades and expansions of the jetty structure, the inland dock and berth developments and terminal storage tank expansion projects at the BORCO facility.

"We closed the BORCO acquisitions on January 18, 2011, and February 16, 2011, and have begun the evaluation of the internal control structure of BORCO. We expect that evaluation to continue during the remainder of 2011."

Buckeye Partners added that completing BORCO's acquisition earlier this year resulted in it repaying $318.2 million worth of debt the Grand Bahama-based company already had on its liability books, including its interest rate derivatives.

Again highlighting BORCO's importance to Buckeye Partners, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company generated some $41.4 million , or 91.9 per cent, of the $45.075 million in revenues produced by its international operations during the three months to March 31, 2011. That segment also includes an operation in Puerto Rico.

And, with $1.844 billion in assets, BORCO accounts for 96.8 per cent of that segment's total asset base. "BORCO is the fourth largest oil and petroleum products storage terminal in the world, and the largest petroleum products facility in the Caribbean with current storage capacity of approximately 21.6 million barrels," Buckeye Partner said.

"For BORCO, due to the high customer demand at the facility, the level of customer service being provided, the expansion capabilities of the facility, the potential of customer recontracting rates and the location of the facility in relation to international shipping routes, we anticipate the customer relationships to extend well beyond the existing contract terms with a recovery period of approximately 25 years."

The international operations segment, with considerable help from BORCO, which accounted for the lion's share of its profits, generated $18.729 million in operating income for the 2011 first quarter. Adjusted operating income reached $25.507 million, with total costs and expenses standing at $26.346 million. Capital additions amounted to $21.703 million.

"Revenue from the international operations segment was $45.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011," Buckeye Partners said.

"Revenues included storage fees of $33.7 million, which represent fees charged for storage of various products; berthing fees of $4.3 million, which represent amounts charged to ships that utilize the facility's jetties; and other ancillary service revenues of $5.2 million.

"Also included in revenue is the recognition of $1.9 million of revenue from unfavourable storage contracts acquired in connection with the BORCO acquisition."

As for expenses, Buckeye Partners added: "Total costs and expenses from the international operations segment were $26.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011, and included $15.9 million of costs and expenses related to operating the BORCO facility and the Yabucoa terminal, including payroll and benefits related costs, repairs and maintenance costs, insurance costs, professional fees, costs related to the transition services agreement we entered into with Vopak in connection with the acquisition and other expenses.

"Total costs and expenses also included $10.4 million of depreciation and s, primarily related to the depreciation of property, plant and equipment and the amortization of intangible assets."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Unfurnished Rental In Fortune Point-Listing ID: 5762

Rental Term: Monthly
Address: 22B Silver Ave.,
Subdivision: Fortune Point
City: Lucaya
Listing ID: 5762

Lovely rental unit located in Fortune Point. Spacious 2 bedroom 2 Bathroom unit in a quiet neighbourhood. Unit offered unfurnished for $1,000 monthly.

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Commerical Land on Sunset Highway-USD 250,000, 20/ 13 Pinder Drive & Sunset Highway

Price: $250,000
Rental Term: n/a
Address: 20 & 13 Pinder Drive & Sunset Highway
Subdivision: Freeport
City: Freeport, Grand Bahama
Unit: *
Block: *
Lot: 20 &13

PRIME COMMERCIAL property situated just off of East Atlantic Drive on Sunset highway. This property consist of two lard commercial lots. Lot 13 is measured at 30,240 sq ft and Lot 20 is measures at 30,514 sq ft for a Total of 60,754 sq ft.

These lots are in a great location and just a short distance from the St. Georges High School. This property is surrounded by restaurants, schools, gas station and much, much more.
Phone: (242)351-9081

Discovery to discontinue service

By Cleopatra Murphy

The Freeport News

Freeport, Grand Bahama- Many Grand Bahamians will have to find another means of travelling to and from Fort Lauderdale as the Discovery Sun will soon bid farewell to Grand Bahama permanently.

The ship will discontinue its service between Grand Bahama and Fort Lauderdale on September 7 The Freeport News can confirm.

A press release issued by the company last week said that the ship was going on dry dock for an indeterminate amount of time from September 7 to undergo renovations, however The Freeport News has learned this is not the case.

Discovery Cruise Line's on island representative, Yannick Toussaint, revealed that during a meeting she attended in Miami on Wednesday, the company announced it plans to terminate services to the island.

Toussaint explained that business has been in a slump for the company for some time.

"The company for years now has been operating and losing money. We have tried many different ways in marketing to attract more people, changing our whole schedule, making it all-inclusive and unfortunately we haven't been able to reach our goal of tourists and passengers on board to maintain the service," she said.

In the release issued by Discovery Cruise Line, Hanns J. Hahn, vice president and general manger of Discovery noted that the ship is in good working condition and suggested that the dry docking was temporary.

The release maintained that although the dry docking would be longer than usual, the ship would undergo routine work and continue its services.

"While the ship is in safe operational order and complies with all United States Coast Guard and SOLAS requirements, it requires extensive dry docking and refurbishment," Hahn said.

He further supplied that the timetable for the ship's return to operation would have been announced once additional inspections were performed on the ship.

Toussaint noted, however that unless a miracle happens she does not foresee a reversal of the decision.

Discovery Cruise Line employs 12 people on Grand Bahama who, Toussaint said have been notified of the pending termination of service to the island.

The last cruise is expected to sail from Grand Bahama to Fort Lauderdale on September 6, and Toussaint anticipates that it will bea blow for many Grand Bahamians who frequently use the ship.

"People think that it's a luxury, this service, but it's not. It's actually needed. This is something that helps Grand Bahamians to survive and to be able to make ends meet," Toussaint said. "A lot of Grand Bahamians depend on this service to run their businesses and feed their families and they are very sad that we weren't able to keep it up-and-running," Toussaint said.

She noted that she has resided on Grand Bahama for the last 10 years and has raised her son on the island, so she understands the impact it will have on residents.

"I understand the need for this service. It's not a service that they utilized to go on vacation. They really used it regularly to be able to provide for their families," Toussaint said. "It's very sad and unless a miracles happens and somebody steps in and helps the service to continue, I'm not sure what's going to happen."

She said that the press release issued earlier that said the ship would be undergoing extensive refurbishment had been issued the way it was to prevent scaring business off for the next three months.

Toussaint added that although she was somewhat surprised, by the decision, she was not totally blindsided as the company has been struggling for a while.

"The end has arrived now and it's sad," Toussaint said.

Friday, May 13, 2011

(PHOTOS) Prime Minister Ingraham Attends Official Opening of COB Northern Campus, Freeport

 The newly opened College of the Bahamas, Northern Campus image Lyndah wells

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas -
Six years after ground was broken for the construction of the College of The Bahamas' Northern Campus, the facility was officially opened yesterday by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.

The new campus on the Grand Bahama Highway replaced the former campus on West Settler's Way, which was opened in 1986 with 200 students enrolled. Over the years, it had come to exceed its capacity, and was accommodating a student body of 600.

The first day of classes at the new campus was in January of this year.

The 40,000 square foot, two-story double structure, built on land donated by the Grand Bahama Port Authority, presently houses 18 classrooms, science, computer and language labs, a library, offices and a bookstore.

Chairman of the College of The Bahamas Council Baswell Donaldson, in his remarks, noted that the campus as it stands today represents just the first part of a multi-phased project that by its final phase will be a fully residential campus community.

"Phase III will be a complex much like this one, with new academic, administrative and laboratory spaces, which will stand just opposite this one. We expect in this coming academic year to complete the final design for the complex and to begin initial site preparation work," he said.

"We also expect in that time frame, to finalize development of our bachelor degree program in maritime studies, including marine environmental sciences, which will be a signature offering for this campus."

The new campus, he said, represents the foundation of a college town similar to those in other parts of the world, which will foster enhanced economic opportunities and drive growth in the surrounding areas. "There's no doubt that there are special opportunities in meeting the operational, and general resource and support needs required to sustain a growing college community of consumers, students and staff alike," he said.

COB President Dr. Betsy Boze said the new campus is the catalyst for growth, both in the facility itself and in the surrounding community.

"Future phases will include a comprehensive, all-encompassing college experience with a mix of academic, social and economic activities, including housing for students and faculty, enabling Grand Bahama to recruit students and scholars from around the country and around the world," she said.

"When the college decided to build here, we did so with the long term vision to significantly enhance access to a college education for all Bahamians."

During his address, Ingraham noted that the local campus provides students from Grand Bahama, Bimini and Abaco an affordable alternative to travelling to Nassau or abroad to attend college.

The campus will facilitate the Institute for Educational Leadership which plays an important role in the professional development of public school administrators, he noted. Forty educators have already graduated from that program in Grand Bahama.

"The exploits of this northern campus will not stop here. It is significant to note that a flagship program of this campus will be in the area of maritime studies with this site hosting The College of The Bahamas Institute of Maritime Studies," Ingraham said.

"This, of course, is a natural fit for both The Bahamas generally, as a world-renowned international maritime centre with one of the largest ship registries in the world, and Grand Bahama, in particular, as a major world centre for ship repair and container transshipment."

Ingraham said COB officials have already collaborated with several international institutions, including the State University of New York and Holland College about maritime studies programs.

Both of those institutions have the certification of the International Maritime Organization, he added, and both are prepared to offer their programs and allow their faculty to teach in Grand Bahama as well as host COB students on their respective campuses.

"This kind of quality collaboration will encourage students hopefully from North America to consider The Bahamas as a viable choice for pursuing studies in maritime science," he said.

"The presence of Ross University Medical School, here in Grand Bahama, offering medical studies for students from the United States of America, and the emerging opportunity we have to make this Grand Bahama campus a centre for maritime studies, demonstrates the potential for Grand Bahama to develop a major offshore education sector, creating significant opportunities for employment, in-come generation, business development and additional study opportunities for Bahamians."

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham delivers the keynote address at the official opening of the College of The Bahamas' Northern Campus, Freeport on Thursday, May 12, 2011. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)

UTEB and NCTU President Jennifer Isaacs Dotson shares a lighthearted moment with Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham, at the official opening of the College of The Bahamas' Northern Campus, Freeport on Thursday, May 12, 2011. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)


Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham is given a campus tour by COB Associate Vice President, Northern Campus Dr. Kelley Duncanson (far right), following the official opening of the College of The Bahamas' Northern Campus,

Container Port sees 52% gain


Tribune Business Editor

The Freeport Container Port enjoyed a 52 per cent operating income gain in 2010 due to the sale of unnamed "fixed assets", despite seeing a 15 per cent decline in the processing of twenty-foot equipment (TEU) or container units.

The data, contained in the 2010 annual report of Hutchison Whampoa, which owns a majority 51 per cent stake in the company, was short on detail and did not identify the assets the Freeport Container Port disposed of. However, the Grand Bahama-based facility did manage to process 1.125 million TEUs during the 12 months to end-December 2010.

"Freeport Container Port, on Grand Bahama Island, reported a throughput decline of 15 per cent, but an EBIT (earnings before interest and taxation) increase of 51 per cent, mainly due to a gain on disposal of certain fixed assets," the Hutchison Whampoa annual report said.

Meanwhile, BISX-listed ICD Utilities, which acts as the holding vehicle for a 50 per cent stake in Grand Bahama Power Company, reported a $1.22 million net loss for its 2010 financial year - a $1.863 million swing from the previous year's $643,618 profit. ICD Utilities incurred a $1.038 million loss on its 50 per cent Grand Bahama Power Company interest, indicating the latter suffered a more than $2 million net loss in the 12 months to December 31, 2010. The BISX-listed entity, which is majority owned by Canadian power giant Emera, Bahamian investors holding the minority, also ran up $183,205 in expenditures. The 2010 annual financials revealed that Emera charged ICD Utilities just over $100,000 for various expenses during 2010, despite there being no written agreement between the two relating to this. "During the year, the company [ICD Utilities] was charged for the annual general meeting organising expenses of $77,824 and corporate support charges of $23,812 by its parent company, Emera," the financials said. "There is no written agreement between the company and Emera for the allocation of the above expenses. However, the Board has approved the above allocation."

ICD Utilities Board is dominated by Emera executives. The Canadian power giant also paid $15,805 in legal expenses incurred by ICD Utilities.

Discovery Cruise Line to suspend service

By Hannah Sampson

Discovery Cruise Line, which operates day cruises to the Bahamas, announced that service will be suspended starting Sept. 7.

No date was given for when cruises might resume.

The cruise line said the suspension is due to required servicing of the Discovery Sun, which sails every day except Wednesday from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island.

Company representatives could not be reached Wednesday, but Discovery vice president and general manager Hanns J. Hahn said the following in a statement: “While the ship is in safe operational order and complies with all United States Coast Guard and SOLAS requirements, it requires dry docking and refurbishment. A timetable for its return will be announced after further inspections are completed.”